Eric & Kristen - Michigan Adoption Center
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Eric & Kristen

Eric & Kristen

What do you do when you have to quarantine with 3 little boys for a year? Step one: take turns hiding in the closet and eating chocolate. Step two: update your resume to include Teacher, Tech Support, TP rationer, Screen Time Monitor, and Hand Sanitizer Specialist. Step Three: the making of the memories.

We popped our tent in the basement and camped.

We popped our tent in the basement and ‘camped’, turned our porch into an igloo, bought a projector, showed our kids all of our childhood favorite movies, learned to order groceries, failed at ordering groceries, learned to make banana bread with the 8 bunches of bananas we bought, planned an epic birthday parade (complete with firemen relatives spraying the whole neighborhood), did family puzzles, started to read Harry Potter, saved up to buy a Nintendo Switch, built a firepit, popped our tent in the backyard and camped for real, played all of our yard games, tried to play a tear-free round of Uno Attack, fished in the neighborhood, purchased a disco ball for kitchen dance parties, had a “Yes” day, and, best of all, adopted a new kitten and named him after our favorite Marvel character, Thor.

Sometimes life can be messy, complicated, and seem really hard, but we know we can get through it as a family because we always support each other and make the best of any situation. In the end, we have survived quarantine the same way we overcome any challenge. We keep it lighthearted, work together, make sure we have lots of opportunities to laugh.

our adoption hopes

Gender:Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:Newborn to 5 Years Old
Total of:1 Child

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Kalamazoo
Our Faith:Open to all religions
Pets:Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)
Kids Already:Three Children Now
Child Care:Stay-at-Home Parent

Our Story

We met in 9th grade English class and Eric liked Kristen right away and asked her out. We are not high school sweethearts though, because Kristen did not say yes. Don’t worry, because eventually Kristen said, “I do!”. In 2003, we started hanging out with the same friend group. Luckily for Kristen, Eric asked her out again. We became best friends, which turned to dating, then falling in love.

Eric knew how important family was to Kristen and asked not only her Dad, but her mom and siblings before he proposed. Eric was so excited that he just popped the question at home. Kristen loves to laugh about how she was still wearing her pajamas when it happened. We spent the next year planning our dream wedding and got married May 7th, 2011. It was a beautiful day, and we made it a point to have fun and enjoyed every part of the day.

We always talked about our strong desire to have a larger family. Once we were married and started building our family the topic of adoption always came up here and there. We continued expanding our family and had three amazing sons. Our sons were growing and reaching big milestones and we felt the nudge of adoption once again. Now feels like the time where everyone in our family is ready to welcome a child with open arms and adoption seems like the perfect fit.

Don’t worry, because eventually Kristen said, I do!
...so we can go as high as the sky!

Our Relaxation & Fun

When we are at home, we have fun and relax by doing Legos together, coloring, drawing chalk roads on the driveway for the kids to ride bikes on, practicing swinging so we can go “as high as the sky”, watching shows about animals (especially in Alaska), kitchen dance parties, and reading bed-time stories.

Most of our summer is spent in Ludington. We love to be at the beach to swim, play in the sand, boogie board, search for sand glass and Petoskey stones, and explore the dunes. We also love to go into town to visit the shops, restaurants, and the children’s museum. We especially like ice cream at the House of Flavors. There are lots of local festivals and entertainment that we participate in as well. Ludington also means time with family. It has become a tradition for our siblings to come from out of state for the 4th of July.

Our kids get to spend time with their cousins, go to the parade, stay up late for the fireworks, and have fun together. When we are not in Ludington, we love to camp. We camp in our backyard a lot and at a nearby state park. The kids love to help Eric set up camp and put up the tent, find sticks to put in the fire, tell stories, and make s’mores. We also love to camp with Kristen’s cousins and have a tradition of all getting together once a year for a big campout weekend. It is fun to see our children and their generation bonding and having fun the way we did with our cousins when we were growing up.

our adoption hopes

Gender: Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 5 Years Old

Total of: 1 Child

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Kalamazoo

Our Faith: Open to all religions

Pets: Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)

Kids Already: Three Children Now

Child Care Plan: Stay-at-Home Parent

Our Family & Friends

Our oldest son is Reece, he is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Reece is a natural leader and is great at convincing his younger brothers to be excited about his ideas. He is so kind and is always happy to help anyone, he takes pride in being a good role model for his little brothers and is our rule follower. Reece has a happy-go-lucky attitude that rubs off on anyone around him, he can chit chat and hold genuine conversations with his baby cousins to his 90-year-old great-grandma. Reece is so excited to have a child placed with our family and is a self-proclaimed, “baby person.”

Our middle son is Shawn, he is 6 years old and in 1st grade. Shawn is a natural problem solver, if there is a task at hand, he will figure out how to get it done. He is a quick thinker and has his dad’s ‘engineer brain’. Shawn is also very thoughtful and our most sensitive son, he always writes us love notes and always notices if you get a new shirt or change your hairstyle. Shawn is our jokester and loves a good prank and has an infectious laugh. He thinks it is “epic” that a child will be placed with our family.

Our youngest son is Charlie, he is 5 years old and will start kindergarten fall of 2021. Charlie is tiny but mighty and holds his own when it comes to being the youngest of 3 brothers. You cannot help but smile when you meet Charlie, his bright red hair sets him out from the crowd. Charlie is always singing / humming / and dancing and if he is passionate about something, boy are you going to hear a lot about it. Charlie is excited to finally join the ranks and become a big brother when a child is placed with us and we know he is going to be great at it.

Our kids are lucky to have wonderful grandparents on both sides. They all get along great and are all equally present in the kids’ lives. They dress up for themed birthday parties, read, color, play catch, attend sports, and school events. They are all beyond thrilled about the prospect of adding another grandchild to the family.

We love our big family. We have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live close by and that we see all the time. It feels great to know you have a strong support system that is only a phone call away.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a great group of close friends. Many of the friendships began in high school and now we all have young kids that get along great when we all get together. We vacation together and celebrate birthdays. It is very special that we went to school together, have been through so much together, and now our kids are going to school together too.

We love our big family. We have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live close by and that we see all the time.
We love that our kids have lots of friends around to play with. There is also a great park about 5 minutes away.

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live in a ranch-style home on the top of a hill. It has 3 large bedrooms. We have plans to add a fourth bedroom someday. Our plan for a baby would be to stay in a crib in our bedroom. Our plan for a new child would be to sleep in a crib in our room. Once they were old enough, we would have the child move in with one of their brothers, or we could have the brothers all share a room. They already spend the night together every chance they get. We have lots of space to hang out and play. We have two living areas on the main level, a screened porch, a deck, and a finished room in the basement where lots of the kids’ toys are.

We have a formal dining room and an eating area in the kitchen. We hope to remodel the kitchen and open the floor plan sometime in the future. The house is surrounded on 3 sides by woods and even though we are in a neighborhood, it feels very private. We have a nice tree-lined backyard with a playset and sandbox. There is plenty of room to play catch with a football or baseball. Our driveway is steep, but we made a removable fence that allows our kids to safely ride bikes and play basketball.

Our neighborhood has a tennis / pickleball / basketball court and a small park with a beach where we can swim and fish. We have lots of great neighbors with kids of all ages. We love that our kids have lots of friends around to play with. There is also a great park about 5 minutes away. It has baseball fields, open space, walking trails, and a playground. All the kids play Little League and football there. We are excited it is baseball season and we get to coach Charlie’s tee-ball team.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

We view education as very important. We want our kids to work hard in school and learn as much as they can. We also have a very broad interpretation of education. It does not just mean going to college. Learning a trade or other specialized skill is also a valuable form of education. We also hope that our kids will be interested in lifelong learning.

Correction & Discipline

As parents of three kids, we know that there is no single type of discipline that works every time. Generally, we use time-outs, loss of privileges, and rewards and praise for good behavior. We are very intentional about explaining the “Why?” in a particular situation so that our kids can understand the expectation and hopefully make a better choice in the future.

We also try to read about different parenting styles so that we can have a “toolbox” of techniques. We expect our kids to be well-behaved, but we do not expect perfection. Everyone makes mistakes and the most important thing is learning from them and trying to do better next time.

Our Faith Views

We both consider ourselves to be spiritual people but do not strictly follow a religion. We both grew up going to church but do not currently attend services. We want our kids to learn about the world and make their own choices. What is most important to us is that they show kindness at every opportunity.

We want our kids to learn about the world and make their own choices.
I enjoy seeing the big picture and planning for the future of my team.

Eric's Career

I work for a Tier 1 automotive manufacturer in Western Michigan. I manage a team of engineers and I love helping them develop professionally and find success in their roles. I also enjoy seeing the big picture and planning for the future of my team. I have been working from home for the last year and have enjoyed the extra time I get to spend with the kids.

After placement, I plan to take some time off for bonding and then return to work full time. I hope to still be able to work from home part of the time.

Kristen's Career

I am grateful for how hard Eric works so that I can fulfill my dream of being a stay-at-home mom. I love that I can spend time with my kids at their school (pre-COVID). I volunteer with the PTO and I look forward to helping with their various events throughout the year. I also juggle all the work, school, and sports schedules all while making sure everyone has a full drawer of clean underwear. Being a stay-at-home mom is not always glamorous, but for me, it has always been worth it. I get paid in sticky hugs, whispered “I love yous, and lots of cuddles. To me, there is nothing more fulfilling than watching my kids grow up.

I plan to continue staying home and taking care of the family after placement.

I get paid in sticky hugs, whispered I love yous, and lots of cuddles.

Eric

Year of Birth: 1983
Education: B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Kettering University
Occupation: Engineering Manager – Tooling
Family Background:

My family is from Western Michigan. I have Dutch, English, Irish, and other European heritage. My main family tradition is spending lots of time in Ludington, Michigan, where my mom grew up and lives today.
My dad and I also bonded over sports when I was young.

We watched all the Michigan sports teams together and he also helped to coach me. I am excited to continue this by coaching my sons’ teams as they grow up. I am not sure how I feel about them becoming Lions fans, but I think it is too late to save them.

Kristen

Year of Birth: 1983
Education: Some College
Occupation: Stay-At-Home Mom
Family Background:

My family is from all over Michigan. I have mostly German and Polish heritage. My family traditions include big birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and vacations at Lake Michigan.

Now that I have nieces and nephews, I love to tie-dye t-shirts for them and my kids so we can take a special 4th of July picture of them all together. Mostly it is about spending quality time together and being there for each other.

We just want to say

We already know that you are strong and brave and that you are making one of the most difficult decisions that a mother can make. We are grateful that you would consider us, and we would be honored to make your child a part of our family. Having an open adoption is very important to us. Because Kristen came from a blended family, we know it takes hard work and commitment to make it all work.

But at the end of the day, we have more people in our lives who love us and love our children. We want to get to know you, learn where you came from, and establish a relationship that will give your child a healthy happy life. We think it takes a village to raise a family, and we would love to add you, and your village, to ours.

With love,

Eric
 and Kristen
Completed Educational Sessions
  • Behavioral and Emotional Needs of Adoptive Children
  • Child Separation, Attachment, and Bonding

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you. We would love to have regular phone or video calls, but it would be even better to have regular face-to-face contact.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays.

We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

OUR COMFORT LEVEL WITH DIFFERENT ADOPTION OPTIONS

Meeting together before placement:  
Meeting your family members:  
Exchanging phone numbers:  
Following each other on social media:  
Supporting your adoption counseling:  
Being with you for your prenatal visits:  
Discussing baby names with you:  
Shopping together for baby’s needs:  
Inviting you to see the nursery:  
Being at the hospital during delivery:  
Caring for baby when you are ready:  
Inviting you to workshops, picnics, etc.:  
Keeping you up-to-date with photos:  
Keeping in touch by written messages:  
Keeping in touch with phone calls:  
Keeping in touch with video chats:  
Getting together in person:  
Sharing your photos, gifts, etc. you send:  
Including you in some family photos:  
Introducing you to our extended family:  
Inviting you to some family events:  
LEGEND
Very Comfortable
Mostly Comfortable
Unsure
A Bit Uneasy
Not Comfortable

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you. We would love to have regular phone or video calls, but it would be even better to have regular face-to-face contact.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays.

We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

Just one more thing...

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you. We would love to have regular phone or video calls, but it would be even better to have regular face-to-face contact.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays.

We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

To Learn More About This Family
Call or Text: 616-451-0245
(616) 451-0245
(616) 451-0245
Greater Hopes
2453 28th Street SW
Wyoming, MI 49519